CHAMPIONSHIP scores abounded in several regions recently. An interesting clash in the West Cork novice C championship had Jonathan Deane, Dunmanway, and Sean Cronin, Togher Cross, in opposition at Ballinacarriga. Both still very much in the teenage category, their inexperience showed in a hesitant opening as they played inward from ‘Manch bridge’.
The contest opened up on the straight to ‘the creamery’ when Cronin lined a brilliant fifth to take a 70-metre lead. Deane, whose outstanding showing in the recent trials earned him a place on Ból Chumann’s youths team for the forthcoming European championships in May, fired a couple of big ones and levelled by ‘Hehir’s’. The Dunmanway youth then took a commanding lead with a few excellent deliveries only for Cronin to level once more with a fine effort to ‘McSweeney’s’. The closing stages belonged to Deane, whose power enabled him escape from a tight right-hand play and go on and win by a bowl.
From teenage prodigies to the other end of the age graphic, West Cork championships bear testimony that road bowling is truly a life-long pastime. Eighty plus and going strong, Drimoleague trailblazer Fachtna Keane has still got what it takes after winning a cracking novice D championship contest with Dunmanway newcomer Finny Carroll at Togher Cross on Sunday. For an €800 total, Fachtna held a bowl lead throwing the last shots but had to show all his resolve to beat in two a superb final effort from his Doheny rival. Still in West Cork championships, Eamonn Crowley defeated Richard Kingston in novice D at Kealkil on Saturday.
Various trial events were held at the weekend. At Castletownkenneigh on Saturday, Ból Chumann’s ladies committee had the first of two trial sessions for the forthcoming U12/U14 inter-provincials at Newcastle, Co Dublin. Two teams of four boys and girls will be selected to represent Cork (Munster) at the event. County champion Jena Healy and City’s very promising Caolinn Callanan were selected on the girls’ U14 team based on Saturday’s results with two to join them from the second trials session. Aimee McCarthy, Drimoleague, and Anna Deane, Enniskeane, will be on the girls’ U12 team with two more to join. Trials for the boys’ U12 and U14 teams will be held at Castletownkenneigh this coming Saturday.
Gaeltacht have their teams selected for the February 26th inter-regional youths team finals at The Phale Road. A big turnout for the trials at Ballyvourney on Sunday morning saw a boys’ team composed of Ross O’Brien (U14), Kieran O’Sullivan (U12) and Colm Kelleher (U10) taking part. There will be high hopes for the girls too with Kayla Healy (U16), Cliona O’Brien (U14) and county runner-up, Lilly Scannell (U12) all involved.